Today is a very sad day in the Kirby household. We had to have our precious baby girl Gretchen put to sleep this morning. She had some kind of heart related event a few days ago, either a stroke or possible heart attack, that left her so weak that this morning she couldn’t even get up or walk. We had some hope the day after that she might pull through and live a somewhat normal life but it became apparent with each passing day that it wasn’t going to be the case. She just grew weaker each day. It always leaves a void in your heart no matter how many fur babies you have. We have three more in the family, we refer to them as the three amigos. They are a lot younger than Gretchen was. The boys are about 2 years old and Zoey our brindle boxer is 10 months old right now. Gretchen turned 12 last March and is from the Rudy & Gretchen era. We got Rudy about 6 months prior to when Gretchen came into the picture in the summer of 2002. They became instant best friends. Gretchen thought the world of Rudy. The first time they had to separate because Rudy had a vet appointment our neighbor, who is some distance away from our house, said she could hear Gretchen screaming at the top of her lungs for Rudy. After that she always went with Rudy to his appointments. They shared a pampered life together for nearly 11 years until Rudy passed away from heart problems himself in January of 2013. It’s one of the reasons we got the boys because we knew Rudy was probably going to be leaving soon and we wanted Gretchen to have other siblings in her life when that happened. She grieved for Rudy for a while. We would see her looking for him at times. But she soon took the role of Top Dog in the house. That became apparent when she climbed up on the love seat and laid down for the first time after Rudy passed away. Rudy always done it but Gretchen never would until after he was gone. I guess she figured it was OK now.
Gretchen brought a lot of joy to our lives. When she first came to live with us she was very timid but as the years passed she became more vocal and would give you this attitude. She was a clown and would make us laugh. Although she never had puppies when we brought the two small puppies home we adopted from the local no kill shelter she became their mother figure and was very protective of them. She could be a fierce guard dog when strangers came to the house. She was a big girl, about 85 pounds, so most people would be intimidated just from her size. But Gretchen was a baby that loved attention and a very gentle soul. We are going to miss her so much but she will always be in our hearts and minds.
Love you baby girl. Rest in peace now and say hello to Rudy for us.